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Classic Cadillac For Sale?


The history of an American pioneer, Cadillac

When you think of iconic American cars, it’s usually the classic Cadillac that springs to mind. The second oldest automobile brand in America (and one of the oldest in the world), Cadillac was founded in Detroit by Henry Leland more than a hundred years ago, and it went on to become known for its groundbreaking technology, daring design and uncompromising performance.

With achievements which include developing the world’s first electric self-starting engine and being the pioneer of integrating computer technology into cars – as well as being the first to offer drivers a steel roof and a colour other than black – the company has shaped, and continues to define, the automotive industry.

It all started in October 1902 with the launch of the first of Cadillac’s many classic cars, the Runabout and the Tonneau. Similar to the 1903 Ford Model A, these vehicles had two seats and were powered by single-cylinder engines, impressing crowds at the New York Auto Show in January 1903 so much that 2,000 were ordered there and then.

In 1909 General Motors purchased Cadillac and in the six years that followed, the company demonstrated that its parts could be completely interchanged, laying the foundation for the modern mass production of automobiles. In fact, it was an achievement so great, that it became the first American car to ever win the Royal Automobile Club of England’s Dewar trophy.

Ever innovative and forward-thinking, Cadillac set the standard for the American automotive industry by developing the V8 engine which enabled its cars to reach speeds of 65 miles per hour, the V16 engine which was one of the quietest and most powerful in America, and the V-12 engine which allowed for greater refinement.

Other accomplishments include the United States Army choosing the Cadillac Type 55 Touring Model for its officers in France during the First World War, winning the Dewar trophy for the second time in 1912 for incorporating lighting and electric starting in a production automobile and setting a record for producing more than one million cars a year in 1949, 1950 and 1951.

By introducing features like the ‘memory seat’ function in 1957 (whereby seat positions could be saved and recalled by different drivers) and heaters and air-conditioning in 1964, the models of the 1970s were memorable for being stylish and comfortable. Larger dimensions and increased weight made for an even smoother ride and the classic Cadillac saw record sales in both 1973 and the late 1970s.

Precision manufacturing ensured reliability, meaning classic Cadillacs were much better made than many of their competitors and people loved them for their combination of luxury and reliability. And the adoration for classic Cadillacs continues to this day, with car enthusiasts meeting at rallies like the classic Cadillac car show in Las Vegas to buy, trade and exchange parts and vehicles, take photos or simply stand, admire and appreciate some of the world’s most groundbreaking, vintage vehicles.